In this brilliant essayCase Western Reserve University details how badly the US Fourth Estate failed to appreciate the dangers of 2 of the 20th century’s worst dictators (though they weren’t much better on Stalin). In nearly every instance you can replace the names Hitler and Mussolini with Trump and the words ‘brownshirts’ and ‘blackshirts’ with ‘Tea Partiers’ and the neofascist ‘alt-right’ it would apply today.
How to report on a fascist?
How to cover the rise of a political leader who’s left a paper trail of anti-constitutionalism, racism and the encouragement of violence? Does the press take the position that its subject acts outside the norms of society? Or does it take the position that someone who wins a fair election is by definition “normal,” because his leadership reflects the will of the people?
These are the questions that confronted the U.S. press after the ascendance of fascist leaders in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s.
And I believe will be repeated in the next 4 years.
(btw- I think the frequent comparisons to his gesture and those of his followers to the Nazi salute are a bit disingenuous. A ‘real’ Hitlergruß is with fingers closed, elbow locked, and held in position for a count of one second. Some* of those in the crowd are clearly doing that and probably mean it as a Nazi honor but I doubt that most do.)
Source: Normalizing fascists
And in the comments below that essay is this comment by one Hans Thielsen that is equally brilliant and compares the events of today with those of 85 years past. I have posted it in its entirety:
This is a very pertinent article and it’s exactly what needs to be written now.